Weekly Policy Update: Trump Administration Takes Step to Encourage Direct Discounts to Patients

On Tuesday President Trump gave his State of the Union address, in which he described the need to rein in health care costs as a major priority. The President also laid out an ambitious health care agenda which includes plans to eradicate HIV/AIDS within the next 10 years, fight childhood cancer, and ensure individuals have access to affordable health care.

CBSA applauds the President’s commitment to ensuring patients have access to the treatments they need.

We were encouraged when just last week the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced a proposed rule that would eliminate certain drug rebates and encourage direct discounts to patients. We praise the goal of this proposal, which aims to fix the often misaligned incentives in our current health care system and ensure that rebates and discounts provided by manufacturers are passed on to patients.

The proposed regulation excludes rebates on prescription drugs paid by manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from safe harbor protection under the Anti-Kickback Statute. It would instead create a new safe harbor protecting discounts offered to patients at the pharmacy counter. It would also create new safe harbor protection for fixed fee services arrangements between manufacturers and PBMs.

The proposed rule published in the Federal Register can be found here. HHS also released a fact sheet outlining the intent of the regulation and what it will mean for different types of beneficiaries.

CBSA remains committed to working with policymakers at the state and federal level to make sure patients understand health care costs and have access to their medicines.

Categories: CBSA News